Friday 6 March 2020

Ancestry releases quartet of Irish-themed collections

UPDATE, 8 March: Since publishing this blogpost, originally headlined as Ancestry releases trio of Irish-themed collections, the database supplier added a fourth new Irish collection, the Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers. As such, the trio just became a quartet, and I have refreshed the post accordingly.

Ancestry has added a quartet of new collections of interest to Irish genealogists. None is making its online debut, but they are new to Ancestry. They are:

Belfast, Northern Ireland, Burial Indexes, 1869-2011. This is an Ancestry WEB collection, meaning that it provides a free index to a third party online site, in this case the Belfast City database of burials, where you can view the records free. You don't need a subscription to access this collection on Ancestry. Nor do you need to register. Just follow the link and search. The collection holds 356,475 records.

Ireland, Prison Registers, 1790-1924
Hugely popular since they first arrived online, the 3,127,594 records in the prison registers hold both genealogical information as well as plenty of colour to add to your family history.
Cover pages of David Dobson's original books
You can search by index or browse by county and prison. The collection covers only those prisons, bridewells, asylums etc in the counties now in the Republic of Ireland, but includes 'guests' from all areas of Ireland. You can find out more about this collection on my website,

Irish Emigrants in North America,1775-1825: The original data for this collection comes from a number of works of the same name by David Dobson (printed in 1998 by Genealogical Publishing of Baltimore, MD) in which records from a variety of sources provided details of name, date of birth, name of ship, occupation, reason for emigration, place and date of arrival in the New World, number in household and, sometimes, place of origin in Ireland. The collection can be searched by the index or browsed by original publications.

Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers.
This popular record set contains 23,437,916 entries. Most relate to fairly minor crimes such as trespass, and issues resulting from quarrels between neighbours, and drunkeness, but there are also some more serious crimes recorded. You can find out more about this collection on my website,

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